Ah yes, more pumpkin deliciousness! Why? Well, any other time of the year, pumpkin just seems, well, out of place. So during the Autumn, the height of this pumpkin season, I am making as much as I can with pumpkin! Well, until everyone in my house gets tired of it and doesn’t want to see pumpkin again for another year, haha.
This recipe is my submission to this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free, hosted by Life, Gluten Free. The theme is pumpkin treats, and I couldn’t think of anything that was more of a treat than this decadent quinoa pudding with rum soaked fruit and pumpkin together. I had wanted to make a pudding with quinoa for a long time, because rice pudding and tapioca seem boring after making them pretty regularly, and quinoa readily absorbs moisture and flavor, so I thought it would work well in this type of dish. Quinoa is more nutritious as well, and despite the candy-rich taste to this pudding, I don’t actually think it is that bad for you. It definitely tastes more indulgent than it actually is. The rum-soaked dates and raisins and maple syrup make it very rich – ok, so it is indulgent, who am I kidding? But because it is so rich, I would recommend serving this in relatively small portions – like 1/2 cup size. We first had it for dessert, then the next day we had it for breakfast….hey it’s not less healthy than pouring a bunch of maple syrup and brown sugar on your oatmeal right? Except that this is gluten free so my husband can enjoy it as well
This is a blend of flavors I had not combined together before, but they worked very nicely – you can clearly taste the pumpkin, the maple syrup, and the rum in the fruit too, but they work in concert well without any being particularly overpowering.
Ingredients – makes about 10 servings:
1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
12 dates, diced
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. myers rum
4 c. whole milk
1/4 vanilla bean
3 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
optional – 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, or fresh dates for garnish
1. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover, and let cook about 15 min., until all the water is absorbed. While quinoa is cooking, add dates and raisins to a small bowl and pour in the rum. Stir every 5 min. or so to make sure all the fruit has contact with the rum.
2. Remove lid, add milk, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into the pan, and turn heat back up to medium. Stir fairly constantly and bring to a simmer. Keep stirring until pudding starts to thicken a bit. I think I remember about 15 min., but am not quite sure of the time.
3. After the pudding starts to thicken, add in the pumpkin puree, rum-soaked fruit (the fruit should have soaked for a good half an hour by now, but you can do that step earlier if you like as well to allow for more rum goodness – if you really like a lot of rum flavor, feel free to add the extra rum into the pudding as well), maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Continue stirring and cooking until pudding thickens to proper pudding consistency (another 15 minutes or so).
4. Serve hot, garnish with fresh dates and walnuts if desired.